Dominostein, fine bitter chocolate coating
Place of originGermany
Region or stateSaxony
Created byHerbert Wendler
Main ingredientsLebkuchen, sour cherry or apricot jelly, marzipan or persipan, milk or dark chocolate
Three varieties of Dominostein

A Dominostein (meaning domino tile, plural Dominosteine) is a confection primarily sold during Christmas season in Germany and Austria.[1]

It is a layered confection, related to the Mille-feuille, opera cake, Punschkrapfen, and Jaffa Cakes. Dominostein has a base of Lebkuchen (gingerbread), a middle layer of jelly (e.g. from sour cherries or apricots), and a top layer of marzipan or persipan. It is enveloped in (typically) dark chocolate.[1][2]


The Dominostein was invented in 1936 by Herbert Wendler (1912–1998) in Dresden. Because of the food shortage during World War II, he intended it as a lower-priced alternative to his more expensive pralines. It became popular as a Notpraline (hardship praline or emergency praline). Wendler's original recipe used Pulsnitzer Pfefferkuchen (gingerbread from Pulsnitz).[1][3][4]

Wendler's factory was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 1952. In 1972, his company was nationalized during communist rule in East Germany. The government returned the company to Wendler in 1990 during German reunification. In 1996 Dresden-based Dr. Quendt GmbH & Co. KG acquired his company and original Dominostein recipe. By then the confection had become popular nationwide, especially during Christmas.[1]

Retail sales

Mass production in a Lambertz factory
A box of Winternacht chocolate dominos

Dr. Quendt still manufactures and sells Wendler's original Dominostein. Other German manufacturers and distributors include Edeka, Favorina, Lambertz, and Niederegger. Small confectionaries in Germany also make and sell Dominosteine, including variations with strawberry jelly and nougat. In the United States, Aldi markets them as "chocolate dominos" under its Deutsche Küche and Winternacht brands.[1][5][6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Dominostein: The Dresden Tricolor Confection Invented from Wartime Food Shortages". December 2020.
  2. ^ "BMEL - Lebensmittel-Kennzeichnung - Leitsätze für Feine Backwaren" [Guidelines for fine pastries]. (in German). Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Dresdner Dominosteine". (in German). Archived from the original on 26 December 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Dominosteine - Layered Christmas Cookie Recipe from Germany". Food. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Deutsche Küche Chocolate Dominos". Aldi Things. 20 September 2022.
  6. ^ "The Full Lineup of Aldi Winternacht Sweets". Aisle of Shame: Aldi Finds for Aldi Fans. 11 December 2020.